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Subject: Rules question rss

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George Phillies
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It is turn 1. A battle has been fought and units of one side or the other are being retreated. They may not *move* into Hungary, but may they be retreated into Hungary? Note that you can retreat in ways that you cannot move. Opinions? It appears to be a truly obscure rules issue. Has this happened to anyone?
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Robert Wesley
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All right, as 'moi' shall 'bite', since they could and will remain "interred"/stuck within Hungary then UNTIL it 'activated' into ALLY, or possibly not at all, eh?
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John Labelle
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Ever wonder why Hungary is a big Gray blotch?
Seems a bit extreme to shade the whole country just for a single turn of waiting. Why go to such extremes graphically?
It's because the original rule does not allow you to enter Hungary until May of 1942!!! That's according to the old rule sheet.

The board design makes sense now. Originally you had to wait twelve turns before you could move into Hungary. The gray kept you honest.

Any of us who have older copies of the game will know of that pink sheet of rule updates slipped into the rule folder. One of those updates changes the Hungary rule's timing to the second turn.

So, if you are asking the question whether you may "retreat" into Hungary as oppose to "move" into Hungary, then you must ask it with the original timing of the Hungary rule in mind.

What would happen?

Let's say in September 1941 a unit is retreated into Hungary. What does he do now? Can he sit there? Is there a time limit? Does he have to leave the next turn? Does he have to take the shortest route? Can he exit into a zone of control of an enemy? What if he is prevented from moving out in one turn due to terrain? Can he fight a battle from Hungary if he enters an enemy zone of control while still in Hungary?

Lots of questions arise if the original timing is used. Too many undefined situations.

An interpretation that views "retreats" as something that somehow does not fall under the movement restrictions of the Hungary rule has to work not just with the updated timing of the second turn, but also for the original twelve turn restriction. The update was one of timing, not of mechanics.

It's a simple rule:
"Any units of either player may move into Hungary on the second turn and all turns thereafter".

I think the intent is pretty clear. Stay out of Hungary on the first (or first twelve) turn(s)!

Retreats can ignore "terrain".
True.
But Hungary is not terrain. It's a border. A zone. An area you cannot move through. If you read the retreat rule, you can't retreat into enemy zones of control or off the board. Hungary matches those conditions more than it does the conditions of being treated as a mountain or a swamp in regards to retreats.

All this said, I believe that the correct interpretation is "No".
No, retreats into Hungary are not allowed on the first turn.

Any attempt to do so is just playing with the rules and taking advantage of the fact that the rule writer wasn't counting on players trying to sneak pass simple wording to a minor rule that is backed up with clearly defined board graphics and obvious intent.


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John Labelle
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Here's another question:
Can a Russian unit "Advance" into Hungary on turn one?

That's right. A can of worms is opened when you start reinterpreting the obvious.

A German unit attacks on turn one and rolls attacker back two.
It's retreated back two and ends up just one hex inside Hungary on a mountain (and there are so many mountains in Hungary).

On the Russian turn one, it is attacked and eliminated or even retreated further into Hungary. (Now we have a double retreat situation in a country you can't move into).

Now, can the Russian "advance" due to the doubling of the defender? Advance into Hungary on the first turn?

What a wacky border those Hungarians have. You can't move there, but you can run away or chase someone there.

I think that the game is better than this.
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Osprey
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Hadn't played this since the old days and decided to pull it out again. I pretty much had forgotten everything about the Hungary situation. I reread the rules (original, pink sheet and updated) and was surprised that I could find no mention whatsoever of the gray area of Hungary, or that it was specifically off limits at all. The only reference to Hungary at all was in the Replacements section of the rules. The original edition said that units could move into Hungary in 1942 with the inclusion of the Pink Sheet which changed that to the 2nd Turn.

I found it amusing that you have this giant gray area on the board representing Hungary and there is no mention of it whatsoever in the Terrain section, or anywhere else for that matter, stating that it is off limits at all, and then you have the one line under the Replacements section that says you can move into Hungary on the 2nd turn.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I'm supposed to tell George Phillies the right way to play Stalingrad? I don't think so!

[edit] I will note, though, that there is at least one highly popular recent game, War of the Ring (Second Edition), where the rules forbid a unit from entering any other nation's territory via movement, but where an explicit exception is made that they may do so during a retreat.

I see that as reasonable. It's like a pilot isn't allowed to land an airplane on a highway, but when the alternative is to be killed along with all the passengers, flexibility in the rules is required.
 
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John Labelle
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Osprey wrote:
I found it amusing that you have this giant gray area on the board representing Hungary and there is no mention of it whatsoever in the Terrain section, or anywhere else for that matter, stating that it is off limits at all, and then you have the one line under the Replacements section that says you can move into Hungary on the 2nd turn.


Yeah, that's the only mention. When it was May 1942, it made sense to have all of Hungary gray. Units of both sides had to wait twelve turns before they are able to move into Hungary. The second turn update kind of made the graying a bit of an overkill. But that was the existing board. I guess if the board wasn't gray already, the update would have dropped any timing of entry altogether.

Sphere wrote:
I'm supposed to tell George Phillies the right way to play Stalingrad? I don't think so!


Well, he asked.
I guess George wants to get it right for the book.
It's a good question. Just one little line in the rules and a big gray country.

Not much to go on so you have to look at the early version of the rule if you want to get in the writers head. It then becomes pretty obvious that Retreats (or Advances) just don't work.
Early rule writing era. Simpler days. -sigh-
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Osprey
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Momoshiro wrote:

Early rule writing era. Simpler days. -sigh-


LOL John. Yeah..."simpler". I'll bet rules writers today beg for those simpler days. They couldn't even get a set of rules right back then because "back then" Stalingrad was a "complicated" game. One of my pet peeves. Rules writing is really an art in a field where artists are scarce. I applaud well written and easily understood rules no matter how complex the game itself is. Very hard to find. One must not only be very familiar with the game itself so as to have run across game situations which aren't specifically clear or covered in the rules and correct them, but must be able to put themselves into the shoes of someone who has never played the game, or anything like it, before and write to them.

I agree with your interpretation of the Hungary situation in Stalingrad and believe that's the way we played it. It's grayed out for a reason and that reason is that it is completely off limits until movement on the 2nd turn is allowed, whether that is direct movement or retreat or anything else you could possibly think of. In fact, if you bump into the game board and any of your units land inside the gray area before Turn 2 it's an auto victory for your opponent.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Momoshiro wrote:
When it was May 1942, it made sense to have all of Hungary gray.

I'd forgotten it was grayed out. Stalingrad was my intro to AH wargames, but it's been ~40 years since I last played it.
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James D. Williams
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Oh Gawd, I think I moved two Inf. Corps into Hungary on the First turn...from Rumania through that "pass"...
I was fooled by Phillies' set up...
https://boardgamegeek.com/image/1326365/stalingrad
...but he hadn't moved into Hungary.
Edit: 6/16, 2015 : "In Stalingrad for Beginners" a sequence of German attacks on Turn One is illustrated. The order of combats chosen was fortuitous for the German player.
In a different order the Russian could have retreated German units into a position where a "next" Russian-caused-retreat of the Germans would have led to over-stack,
because the [2nd] retreat could not be made into Hungary.

We might well accept "Stalingrad for Beginners" as the "Textus Receptus"
in distinction to the "Codex Baltimoricus"
and the 1st.ed. primus legibus,
pink sheet rosea text
and the 2nd. ed. secundo leges.
 
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